Vision rehabilitation focuses on problems with the communication between the eyes and the brain.
Vision rehabilitation does not focus on physical defects of the eye.
To understand vision rehabilitation, you need to understand the difference between sight and vision. Sight is being able to see. Vision is the ability to understand what we see. Vision is a learned process. Both children and adults can have vision disorders that go undetected during routine eye exams. For example, a child may have excellent sight but have difficulty reading because his or her eyes do not work together correctly. Visual problems such as tracking disorders, convergence disorders, and spatial confusion can cause a variety of issues ranging from learning difficulties to panic attacks. These disorders can occur by themselves or as a result of a hereditary condition, brain injury, or stroke.
Vision therapy takes advantage of the fact that the brain has an extraordinary ability to change. It's useful to think of vision therapy as physical therapy for the eyes and brain. Vision therapy often involves treatments to re-train the brain to communicate with the eyes.
Vision rehabilitation can include vision therapy, but includes a wider range of treatments. Other options include prisms, filters, tints, and specially designed eyewear as well as cooperative treatment with physicians, occupational therapists, psychologists, physical and speech therapists, and others involved in care. Vision rehabilitation is more complex than vision therapy, and takes a much broader approach to total care. Vision rehabilitation is often useful for people with complex needs, such as those with multiple handicaps, traumatic brain injury or stroke.
Perceptual training can be necessary in cases where the brain is not properly processing visual stimuli. The eyes work, but the brain does not "understand" what is being seen. So, for example, the eyes can perceive a shape, but the brain does not process that the shape is a triangle. Many individuals who have had brain trauma, including many returning veterans, will have visual confusion disorders and perceptual impairments. Perceptual training may help increase function, perceived safety, and independence. QEEG measures have demonstrated that perceptual training can change the brain and brain function.
Dr. Gottlieb works hand in hand with the rehabilitation team creating outcomes not previously thought possible.